Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Standing in the Doorway

Solemnity of Christ the King, Yr B (2015)
Holy Spirit Parish/UK Newman Center

You and I walk through doorways all the time.  We walked through no less than three to get here tonight.  Think about a typical day in your life…how many times do you pass through a doorway?  Ten?  Twenty?  More?  We walk through doorways all the time – but we almost never stop to notice – we hardly ever stop to consider the particular kind of space in which we find ourselves in the doorway.  He we are – present tense.  We’re not quite where we were – past tense.  And we’re not yet quite where we’re going – future tense.  We think we’re so focused on the here and now that we don’t have time for such trivialities as considering what its like to be in the doorway…but actually, quite the opposite is true.  In reality, the truth is we’re usually leaning so quickly into the future or holding so tightly to the past that we never take the time to pay attention to the doorway. 
Which is really quite sad, when you think about it.  Because – the real moments in life – the stuff of life – where we love and live and learn – everything that is real in life is sandwiched in between what has been and what will be – right in the doorway of the present moment.  And we so often miss it.
That’s why I love to Solemnity of Christ the King which we celebrate today.  Here we are – in the doorway moment of the Christian life.  Christ the King is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time – it signals the end of everything that is ordinary about time.  But not in the sense of terminating or concluding.  Rather, in the sense of culmination, realization; the fruition of time itself, when all of creation recognizes that toward which it has been growing and tending since the first verse of Genesis.  When Jesus Christ Himself will be known by all as the One through whom life becomes eternally filled with love and communion with God and one another.  We can see – with the eyes of faith, we can see on the feast of Christ the King that great vision of Daniel, we can see that day when the Son of Man will come as if on a cloud, receiving dominion and glory and kingship over all people and nations and languages.  While at the same time, acknowledging that we are not there yet…in the doorway…
We are not there yet, but standing in the doorway of today (and tomorrow, and the next day) we are called to live the coming reality in this moment.  We give Christ ultimate kingship over our lives.  We work hard to transform the world around us into the coming reality of that kingdom; pointing – always pointing, with our words and more importantly with our actions and our lives; always pointing to Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, so that others might come to know Him as we do.
And we do all of this because of who He revealed himself to be two thousand years ago – back then – behind us in the doorway, but still connected with us somehow – through the sacraments, and grace, and our felt experience of His incarnation which has carried us to this moment.  We rely on who Jesus revealed Himself to be in the past to sustain us as we head toward the fullness of His kingdom in the life to come – as we come here today to encounter Him in this moment – this doorway between back then and soon to be – to encounter Him around this altar – to encounter Him, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end of all that is, has been, or will be – to encounter the only One who, in every moment is, and was, and is to come.
And it is this moment – this kind of moment – this doorway moment – in which we live our whole lives!  Not rushing into the future glory so as to leave this moment behind – that would miss the work we have to do today, carrying the Gospel message, binding up the wounded, welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and allowing the Lord Jesus to tend to our wounds as well at the altar and in the confessional – no, we don’t rush into the future glory in such a way that we miss this moment…we relish this moment, and let the coming of Christ, the King of the Universe, change how we live this moment so that this moment becomes a reflection of what is to come…
And it is this moment – this kind of moment – this doorway moment – in which we carry with us the great reality that we will again begin to celebrate next week, the Advent – the coming – of Jesus to shatter all that holds us back from that future by living His power and majesty and kingship in service and sacrifice.  We gather around this altar in this moment at this celebration of the Eucharist to receive the gift He gave us back then that carries us through the doorway into the kingdom of salvation that is to come.

You and I walk through doorways all the time – every moment of our lives is a doorway.  What if we lived each of them powered by the Eucharist given to us two thousand years ago, making present the coming kingdom of God in our midst for ourselves and our brothers and sisters in this world – what if we lived every moment of our lives as if Our Lord, Jesus Christ, truly were King of the Universe…because He is…